Alongside Big Data, Content Marketing is one of the top rated digital marketing techniques, giving SEO, Paid Search and Display, amongst others, a good kicking. What exactly does this mean? It means that experts deem content marketing to be the channel that will deliver biggest impact through the coming 12 months.
Before I continue, to clear up any confusion, here is our (hopefully) straightforward explanation of what content marketing actually is:
Content marketing involves the strategic creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not overtly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services to a defined audience.
This is good news for a lot of companies and here’s why – you all have a story to tell!
Why is this important? Because when it comes down to it, content marketing is all about storytelling. It is about nurturing a long-term relationship with your key audiences and providing them with valuable information that encourages dialogue.
So how do you do this? Here are our five key steps to content marketing success:
1. Business / marketing objectives
You can produce the best content in the world, but if it has no connection to your key business or marketing objectives, you may as well just take your budget and go to the pub! Content can serve several different purposes, so the key here is to define the role of your content before you produce it and know what you’re hoping for it to achieve.
We talk about strategy a lot because quite frankly, we love it! We firmly believe that the better strategy you can get in place for any form of communication, the better chance you give yourself for effective execution. Some of the questions you can ask when putting your content marketing strategy in place are:
· What is the specific aim for this particular programme of content marketing?
· Who are we targeting?
· What key question or need does it fulfil?
· What are we basing all the above assumptions on?
Now you can really get your creative juices flowing (or let your friendly PR & Media company take the strain for you!) The important thing here is that what you produce will be driven by your strategy, which in turn will align with your key objectives – see, there really is method to this madness! Basically, now you need to figure out what you’re going to produce and who is going to produce it.
So, you’ve created some entertaining / educational / shocking (delete as appropriate) content, now what do you do with it? Well, it’s up to you, but giving your content some marketing effort will be the difference between your friends and family having a good chuckle at your handiwork and it actually delivering some meaningful return on investment (I refer you to my aforementioned pub comment).
There are certain members of the GD PR & Media team that could do with an ‘Analytics Anonymous’ support group and they maybe take this area of work to the extreme, but measurement is nevertheless a critical element of any content marketing programme. Knowing how your audience has received, and crucially acted upon, your content will guide future efforts and enable you to define whether your key objectives have been hit and to what extent.
So there you have it, my whistle-stop guide to content marketing, have fun and good luck!